University accreditation

2022 accreditation

According to the Higher Education Act (HEdA), all universities, public or private, which wish to retain or obtain the right to be called a "university", "university of applied sciences" or "university of teacher education", must submit to institutional accreditation. This examines the institution's internal quality assurance system. It is also one of the conditions that universities must meet in order to receive federal contributions. The institutional accreditation is conducted by the Swiss Agency for Accreditation and Quality Assurance (AAQ) and is therefore mandatory and serves as a quality label. The decision-making body is the Swiss Accreditation Council.

For the University of Geneva, this accreditation will end in 2022, at the end of a process that will begin in January 2021. Every member of the university community is called upon to participate in this process, with a view to continuously improving the quality of the institution for the benefit of all.

PURPOSE OF ACCREDITATION

On the basis of 18 quality standards (HEdA), it examines how the University's quality assurance system is able to ensure the quality and long-term development of its activities. These quality standards relate to the following five areas:

STANDARD 1.1 The higher education institution or other institution within the higher education sector shall define its quality assurance strategy. This strategy shall contain the essential elements of an internal quality assurance system aimed at ensuring the quality of the activities of the higher education institution or other institution within the higher education sector and their long-term quality development as well as promoting the development of a quality culture.

STANDARD 1.2 The quality assurance system shall be incorporated into the strategy of the higher education institution or other institution within the higher education sector and efficiently support its development. It includes processes verifying whether the higher education institution or other institution within the higher education sector fulfils its mandate while taking account of its type and specific characteristics.

STANDARD 1.3 At all levels, all representative groups of the higher education institution or other institution within the higher education sector shall be involved in developing the quality assurance system and in its implementation, in particular students, mid-level faculty staff, professors and administrative and technical staff. Quality assurance responsibilities must be transparently and clearly assigned.

STANDARD 1.4 The higher education institution or other institution within the higher education sector shall periodically analyse the relevance of its quality assurance system and make the necessary adjustments.

> More information on quality standards for institutional accreditation:  see part D of the Institutional accreditation guide

STANDARD 2.1 The quality assurance system shall ensure that the organisational structure and decision-making processes enable the higher education institution or other institution within the higher education sector to fulfil its mission and to achieve its strategic objectives.

STANDARD 2.2 The quality assurance system shall systematically contribute to providing relevant and current quantitative and qualitative information, on which the higher education institution or other institution within the higher education sector relies to make current and strategic decisions.

STANDARD 2.3 The quality assurance system shall ensure that the representative groups of the higher education institution or other institution within the higher education sector have an appropriate participatory right and that basic conditions are in place allowing them to independently operate.

STANDARD 2.4 The higher education institution or other institution within the higher education sector shall give consideration to an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable development in the completion of its tasks. The quality assurance system shall ensure that the higher education institution or other institution within the higher education sector sets objectives in this area and also implements them.

STANDARD 2.5 To carry out its tasks, the higher education institution or other institution within the higher education sector shall promote equal opportunities and actual gender equality for its staff and students. The quality assurance system shall ensure that the higher education institution or other institution within the higher education sector sets objectives in this area and also implements them.

> More information on quality standards for institutional accreditation:  see part D of the Institutional accreditation guide

STANDARD 3.1 The activities of the higher education institution or other institution within the higher education sector shall correspond to its type, specific features and strategic objectives. They shall mainly relate to teaching, research and services and be carried out in accordance with the principle of freedom and independence within the limits of the mandate of the higher education institution or other institution within the higher education sector.

STANDARD 3.2 The quality assurance system shall provide for a periodic evaluation of teaching and research activities, of services and of results achieved in these areas.

STANDARD 3.3 The quality assurance system shall ensure that principles and objectives linked to the European Higher Education Area are taken into consideration.

STANDARD 3.4 The quality assurance system shall ensure compliance with the criteria for admission, for the assessment of the student performance and for issuing final diplomas according to the mission of the higher education institution or other institution within the higher education sector. These criteria shall be defined, communicated and applied systematically, transparently and consistently.

> More information on quality standards for institutional accreditation:  see part D of the Institutional accreditation guide

STANDARD 4.1 With its competent authorities, the higher education institution or other institution within the higher education sector shall assure that its personnel resources, infrastructure and financial means allow for operating on a going concern basis and for achieving its strategic objectives. The origin and allocation of financial resources and financing conditions shall be transparent.

STANDARD 4.2 The quality assurance system shall ensure that the entire staff is qualified according to the type and specific characteristics of the higher education institution or other institution within the higher education sector. To this end, it shall also provided for its periodic assessment.

STANDARD 4.3 The quality assurance system shall ensure that the higher education institution or other institution within the higher education sector supports the career development of its entire staff, particularly the new generation of scientists.

> More information on quality standards for institutional accreditation:  see part D of the Institutional accreditation guide

STANDARD 5.1 The higher education institution or other institution within the higher education sector shall make public its quality assurance strategy and ensure that the provisions corresponding to quality assurance processes and their results are known to employees, students and if necessary external stakeholders.

STANDARD 5.2 The higher education institution or other institution within the higher education sector shall regularly publish objective information about its activities, its study programmes and the qualifications awarded.

> More information on quality standards for institutional accreditation:  see part D of the Institutional accreditation guide

participative APPROACH

Institutional accreditation is a participatory process. It involves consultation of the UNIGE bodies, in particular the Quality Office, the University Assembly, the Rectorate-Decanate Council (CRD) and the Rectorate Commissions. It provides for interviews and the collection of information from the Faculties, Divisions and Services and the various bodies of UNIGE.

WHAT IS EXPECTED OF ALL

  • Analysis of the activities with regard to quality criteria
  • Provision of information for the drafting and proofreading of the report
  • Availability for expert visits
  • Contribution to the implementation of the action plan
  • Adaptation to possible requests for changes